The 20th edition of the National Guidance and Counseling Day has been celebrated in Government Bilingual High School Nanga Eboko under the theme “The Digitalization of the Guidance and Counseling Service Offer: The Counseling Help Line” with Prof. Nalova Lyonga urging guidance counselors to move forward with the advent of E- Counseling.
Accompanied by the Governor of the Centre Region Naseri Paul Bea, Prof. Nalova Lyonga Minister of Secondary Education chaired the official celebration of the 2022 edition of the National Guidance and Counselling Day on Friday 21st October 2022, within the premises of GBHS Nanga Eboko in the Upper Sanaga Division.
The local authorities took turns in welcoming their august guests, with speeches wherein they enumerated a litany of problems faced by the education community of the Upper Sanaga Division as a whole. The series of speeches began with that of the mayor of the locality, then, the principal of the host institution Joseph Ekanga, followed by Norbert Atala, Divisional Delegate of Secondary Education for the Upper Sanaga Division. It ended with an inaugural lesson on the theme delivered by Mendjongo Amia Sinclaire, Chief of Service in charge of School Mapping and Guidance and Counselling at the Divisional Delegation of Secondary Education for the Upper Sanaga Division.
In her keynote address to the education community gathered in Nanga Eboko, Prof. Nalova Lyonga recalled the complexity of the job of a guidance counselor. Reminding them of the importance of their role in grooming learners, she reiterated that guidance and counseling is indispensable in the academic parcour of students. She emphasized that; “If you think that you do not have work to do, let me tell you now that you have too much work to do.”
The Minister presented the Counseling Helpline which is a record-breaking innovation witnessed in Secondary Education this school year. This Help Line lodged within the Distance Education Centre she explained is access toll free and will ensure the psychosocial and pedagogical follow up of students, teachers and even parents.
She went further to explain the importance of digitalization in the teaching and learning process and presented it as a tool that will be used to solve the difficulties enumerated by the speakers that preceded her.
In an era plagued by so many vises including the rising wave of violence in schools, drug abuse in all its forms and the recent outbreak of the COVID19 pandemic, it has come in timely to facilitate the teaching/learning process. Digitalization through E-learning and now E-counseling have come to chat a way forward for Secondary Education in Cameroon.
To top it all, she revealed the existence of a publication containing the terms of reference of guidance counselors in Cameroon. It is however imperative for the book to be reviewed, updated and republished given the changes that have taken place in the education system in Cameroon. In this regard, she made the following recommendation: “what I am waiting to see from you counselors, I want to see a book that carries your conceptualization. What are you advising the children to be and for what? They are Cameroonians, yes, but what are they supposed to achieve?”
At the end of the ceremony, Prof. Nalova Lyonga and her entourage undertook a guided tour of the exhibition stands set up by professionals of both private and public institutions for this occasion. These professionals showcased various fields of studies attributed to each profession and institution and explained to students what fields of studies corresponded to which profession. They also showcased the job opportunities these specialties offered them in the job market.
K.T Lois NGEK, CEA2 CELCOM